Hochbeet düngen

Fertilize raised beds

In what ways can you fertilize a raised bed - and how do I promote plant growth?

As in the ground-level bed, it also makes sense to mix the soil with fertilizer in the raised bed . This further enriches the nutrient content of the soil and allows your plants to thrive. You can find them here most important information about the different types of fertilizer that are suitable for a raised bed and are an ideal alternative to artificial fertilizer.

How often do you have to fertilize a raised bed?

A raised bed is not only visually appealing, but also offers numerous advantages for growing vegetables and herbs . Thanks to the layering of different materials, it offers lots of nutrients for the plants right from the start. However, many garden lovers still wonder how often they should fertilize their raised beds to ensure optimal growing conditions. Hochbeet.com has prepared a few tips for you.

Starting phase of the raised bed:

A freshly created raised bed usually requires Hardly any additional fertilization in the first year. The decomposition of organic materials such as garden waste, leaves and compost releases enough nutrients during this period. This natural decomposition process provides plants with a constant source of nutrients.

After the first year:

From the second year onwards, the raised bed's original source of nutrients begins to diminish. Here it is advisable to start fertilizing. The frequency of fertilizing depends on the type of fertilizer and the crops being grown. 

Pay attention to the plants:

The plants themselves often provide clues as to whether they need additional nutrients. Yellow leaves, stunted growth, or lack of fruit production can be signs of nutrient deficiency.

Fertilizing with compost – the black gold of the garden

Compost is not only an environmentally friendly alternative to industrial fertilizers, it is also a valuable contribution to sustainability and circular economy in your garden. If you want to optimally fertilize your raised bed, compost offers a number of advantages:

  • Important nutrient intake: A rich compost provides the raised bed soil essential nutrients that your plants need for healthy growth.
  • Ideal consistency: A good compost has the consistency of forest soil: crumbly and fragrant. This not only improves the soil structure but also promotes microbial life in the soil.
  • The right moisture: Make sure your compost is neither too wet nor too dry is. A test: If no water comes out when you squeeze the compost in your hand, it is optimal.
  • Fertilizer Readiness Test : To make sure the compost is ripe and ready for fertilization, you can sow a small amount of cress on it . If small cress plants sprout within a week, the compost is ready for your raised bed.
  • Pre-screening for a fine structure: Before fertilizing, you should sieve the compost. This will ensure that no larger particles or non-rotting material end up in the raised bed.
  • Balanced nutrient intake: Compost is high in phosphorus and potassium, but lower in nitrogen. It is therefore important to have a good mixing ratio between materials rich in carbon (e.g. leaves, paper) and materials rich in nitrogen (e.g. green waste, kitchen waste). in the compost heap. The ideal ratio is 20:1 in favor of carbon.
  • Nitrogen addition: Since nitrogen is essential for plant growth, it should be added to the compost in the form of horn shavings or sheep's wool pellets .

By properly using compost as fertilizer, you can not only enrich the soil of your raised bed, but also make an active contribution to the environment.

Fertilizing with farmyard manure – more than just waste

Fertilizing soil with farmyard manure has a long tradition. Although fewer people have direct access to it these days, farmyard manure has great potential for fertilizing your raised beds:

  • What is stable manure? Manure is made up of the excrement of animals such as cows, horses, chickens or pigs and their bedding - usually straw or sawdust.
  • Nutrient source : This natural fertilizer contains a variety of valuable nutrients that benefit plant growth.
  • Composting for added value: To increase the nutrient content and improve the quality of the manure, it can be composted with garden waste.
  • Be careful with fresh manure: It is important not to use fresh manure directly as fertilizer as it contains high amounts of ammonia, which can be too “harsh” for plants.
  • Consider exposure time: In order to use the full potential of the manure and not damage the plants, it should be incorporated into the soil several weeks before planting. The ideal time for this is either in autumn or from January to February . This allows the nutrients to be gradually released and the rotting process begins.
  • Plant-specific fertilization: Some vegetables, such as potatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes and pumpkin, particularly benefit from fertilization with farmyard manure. However, with others, such as onions, carrots and radishes, you should be more cautious.

Fertilizing with farmyard manure is an effective method of enriching your raised bed and providing your plants with the nutrients they need. At the same time, you are making a contribution to sustainable gardening by making sensible use of organic waste.

Fertilizing with horn shavings – natural nitrogen

Horn shavings, horn meal and horn meal have been used as slow-acting organic nitrogen fertilizers for many generations. It is usually made from crushed horn and hooves from slaughtered animals. The more finely the horn shavings are planed, the faster the fertilizer effect begins, so horn meal works most effectively. If coarse horn shavings are used, the effect develops more slowly but lasts longer. Ideally, you should use a mixture that contains both coarse horn shavings and horn meal. These are also suitable ideal for composting , as not only is the nutrient content increased, but the rotting process is also accelerated. When fertilizing the raised bed, it is best to apply the shavings shortly before planting; you should mix in some horn meal. You can also put this directly into the planting hole and water it in a little and then plant the desired plant directly. In general, make sure that the soil of the raised bed is slightly moist when fertilizing with horn shavings.

Fertilizing with sheep's wool pellets - plush for raised beds

Sheep's wool pellets, which are made from virgin wool residues, are a popular fertilizer in organic farming and offer numerous advantages for your raised bed:

  • Environmentally friendly fertilizer: Instead of disposing of the contaminated remains of the new wool, they are reused as nutrient-rich fertilizer. This sustainable approach helps to use resources wisely and reduce waste.
  • High Nitrogen Content: Sheep wool pellets are rich in nitrogen, an essential nutrient for plant growth.
  • Better Water Retention: A notable advantage of sheep's wool pellets over other fertilizers is their ability to retain water effectively. This can be particularly beneficial during dry periods.
  • Wide range of applications: In addition to raised beds, sheep's wool pellets can also be used in other garden areas, such as the potato tower , to increase crop yields.
  • Long-term fertilizer: The release of nitrogen from sheep wool pellets occurs gradually, making them ideal as a long-term fertilizer.
  • Ideal for heavy feeders : Plants with high nutrient requirements, also known as heavy feeders, particularly benefit from fertilization with sheep's wool pellets.
  • Easy to use: You can distribute the pellets directly in the bed and cover them with some soil or place them directly in the planting hole before planting the plant.

Sheep's wool pellets are an environmentally friendly, sustainable and effective way to fertilize your raised bed. Not only do they provide nutrients for your plants, but they also support soil health and encourage sustainable gardening.

What are you waiting for, follow the valuable advice from our blog, make your raised bed strong through optimal fertilization.